CREO + HermitCraft S1 | Manufacturing Update 2 - The Final Countdown!

CREO + HermitCraft S1 | Manufacturing Update 2 - The Final Countdown!

Published Oct 26, 2023

Hey everyone!

The time is almost here! Product is starting to arrive in our warehouse, and our team is hard at work preparing for an intense few days of shipping products.

Before we dive in, I’d like to thank everyone for their overwhelmingly positive feedback to the previous update. I loved reading all your responses, and I thought I’d send out a final update before we get into the beautiful chaos that is shipping!

If you’re looking for a quick update, here’s a TLDR:

- Almost all inventory has been received safe and sound! (Some still on its way)

- Orders will be shipping out starting Oct 31, and finished by week of Nov 6th

- Picking, Packing, and Shipping this volume of orders all at once is hard (but doable)

- If you missed the original pre-order, join the waitlist!

Now for the nitty gritty details :D

I’m going to walk you through essentially everything that we’ve been doing since the last email update, as well as what our plans are to get these orders to you as quickly as possible.

Shipping from Manufacturer to Warehouse

In a previous project, we had issues with damage to the units during the bulk shipping process (from manufacturer to warehouse). Image below shows example of damage:

r/HermitCraft - Example of Previous Shipping Damage

Because of this, we asked our manufacturing team to ‘double-carton’ all the inventory. This means that every unit was packaged inside a series of smaller cardboard boxes, which were then placed into a larger shipping carton. This ensured a double-walled protection during shipping to our warehouse. Below pic shows inner carton, which were then packaged into larger outer carton:

r/HermitCraft - Game Box Interior Shipping Carton

This was a more expensive option, but I’m happy to report that it worked brilliantly! The inventory arrived in immaculate condition, and I can’t tell you how happy I was to see it arrive safe and sound.

Receiving the Inventory

With this volume of units, it’s difficult to inspect each and every item upon arrival. Therefore, we spot-checked a couple dozen boxes across each of the cartons, checking for print quality, exterior damage, and packing accuracy. Have to admit that I immensely enjoyed this process, as it was an excuse to open a whole bunch of packs!

As a reminder, each Booster Box contains 8 randomized Booster Packs:

2 x Hermit Packs

2 x Item Packs

2 x Effect Packs

2 x Booster Packs

r/HermitCraft - Booster Packs!

Each style of Booster Pack has its own unique illustrated design, modeled after the in-game vending machines that Beef designed and built. We went with the extra-thick Booster Pack material that feels especially satisfying to tear open.

Additionally, each Booster Box has a chance of containing an individually-numbered, Signed Card! Slightly better than a 1 in 10 odds (1 Booster Box out of every 10 will contain a Signed card), so keep your eye out for a signature as you unbox 👀 Note that if you do receive a Signed card, it will always be in one of the 2 Hermit Packs.

The quality of the Game Boxes is also fantastic - I especially like the Coin, which feels heavy, solid, and well balanced. I can’t stop flicking it between my fingers like a poker chip while I work at my desk!

r/HermitCraft - HermitCraft TCG Coin

Finally, the cards themselves feel incredible - they are printed on 200gsm blue-core paper stock using offset printing, which is the same base material and process used in official Pokemon and Magic the Gathering cards. No expense was spared and no corners cut!


While we were waiting for the inventory to ship, we have been hard at work prepping the warehouse layout, team, and inventory on hand to be able to hit the ground running (at a dead sprint) when we receive the final units.

This included assembling our custom mailer boxes, training staff on the packaging Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), as well as putting together a few other surprises that will be included in the final box.

r/HermitCraft - Packing Station Setup and Practice Packing

Picking the Order

Speaking of SOPs, we’ve also put together a detailed plan for how to pick the orders in the most efficient way. In a previous life I was lucky enough to work very closely with the operations teams of some of the largest ecommerce companies in the world like Ridge, Hexclad, Caraway, and others, and I learned so much about the best way to effectively process large volumes of orders.

I could write 2000+ words about this section alone, but I’ll try to keep this brief. Essentially, the picking process comes down to Batching. The most efficient way to push through large volumes of orders is to batch together similar orders. For example, the most popular unit combination (by far) was 1 x Game Box + Booster Box. Therefore, we’ve grouped these orders together to be processed like an assembly line. 

Additionally, we’ve separated out the more complex orders (6+ unique line items) into a different batching queue. These are typically orders that include some accessory products (like sleeves, top loaders, magnetic card holders, etc). 

By separating the ‘complex’ orders from the ‘simple’ orders, it allows us to maximize throughput. This is an interesting application of Queuing Theory, which is a whole separate rabbit hole of complicated math that you can go do down if you’re interested! 

Here's an image of some of the accessory products that I mentioned above, as well as a sneak peak at some of the cards!

r/HermitCraft - Accessories and Card Sneak Peek

After receiving, inventory is stored in the warehouse using a system called ‘bin level inventory’ where we can individually track each unit down the specific shelf in the warehouse. Here's an example of one of the shelves where we are storing inventory:

r/HermitCraft - Bin Level Inventory - Racking Example

The final wrinkle of complexity comes with the Game Boxes. As mentioned in the previous update, there are 10 unique Game Box variations that each contain different Starter Decks. I wasn’t even sure if this was going to be possible, but one of my goals was to ensure that if someone ordered 2+ Game Boxes, they would receive at least 2 unique Starter Deck versions. The tricky part is that the Game Boxes are not externally labeled in any way, because I wanted there to still be an element of surprise when unboxing.

However, the Exterior Cartons that the Game Boxes were shipped in, did have an indication of what Game Box variation is inside. Therefore, we have strategically arranged our Game Boxes to guarantee that each order will receive unique Game Box variations for at least the first two units.

You can see below how we've arranged the pallets to make this happen (with our address redacted):

r/HermitCraft - Game Box Divided by Deck Versions (Address Redacted)

Packing the Orders

As you may have already noticed, I am just a little bit obsessive when it comes to the details of this project, and the final packing of the orders is no exception.

We wrote a 5 page step-by-step SOP for each stage of the packing process, including assembly of the boxes, specific positioning of the units within the box, and even down to the location of the label on the shipping box. If people are curious maybe I could share this in the future! 

When doing some test packing of shipments earlier this week, we noticed that some of the smaller orders had way too much extra space in the box, which caused the product to ‘rattle around’ inside. While the product is actually very solid and would likely have been fine, I didn’t like it.

So I decided to place a last minute order for (a metric crap-load of) bubble wrap and had it overnight shipped on a flatbed truck to our warehouse so that we can fill the empty space in the boxes, and protect the precious cargo. Here you can a few of the rolls we ordered so far:

r/HermitCraft - BUBBLE WRAPPP

What’s Next?

I’ve genuinely agonized over every minute detail of this project, and we are so close to the finish line. We’ve received about 75% of the inventory so far, and expect to receive the remaining inventory by Oct 30 at the latest.

You may recall that it was our goal to have everything in the mail by Oct 31 at the latest - but as you can imagine it would be difficult to ship out this volume of orders within a 1 day window.

Additionally, the remaining 25% of inventory contains the majority of the signed Base Set Collector’s Edition cards, which were the free gift in each shipment. Therefore, that means that we can’t start shipping any orders, until we receive all the outstanding inventory. 

On top of that, we wanted to make sure that everyone receives their shipments within a reasonably small window - we didn’t want the first shipments to be received weeks and weeks ahead of the final shipments. 

That said, we are doing everything we can to be able to absolutely blitz through these orders the moment we receive the remaining inventory. We are doubling our warehouse shifts to 2/day (including weekends), to try and push through a ridiculous volume of shipments each day. 

Our revised target is to have everything in the mail by the week of Nov 6th. 


As always, please leave a comment and let me know what you think! I especially may not have time to reply to everyone as I’m pretty heads-down focused in the warehouse at the moment, but I promise I will personally read each and every reply.

Finally - after the last email update, there were a few folks who reached out requesting a refund. We therefore have an extremely limited amount of ‘overstock’ units that will be available for purchase very soon! If you’d like to get notified when these are available, please join the waitlist here

When these go live they will be shipping out immediately and would make an amazing Christmas gift!! 

I can’t help but just get a little bit sentimental when I write these updates, and have to thank you once more - thank you for trusting me and giving me the opportunity to work on this project, it genuinely is a dream come true for me.


- Luke Chesney

Founder, CREO

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